2002/2003 ISSUE 5

This editorial will briefly explore four facets of the rich tapestry created in association with the IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice. These are:

  1. Journal content,
  2. New collaborative effort,
  3. Potential future developments, and
  4. Learning by doing and learning by travel.

The fifth Issue of the electronic Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice contains eight articles that were presented as lectures at three different courses/symposia during the years 2000 - 2002:

  • Social Work and Spirituality - 2000 (Terry Sacco),
  • Social Work and Social Policy - 2000/01/02 (Horst Sing; Juha Hamalainen and
    MariAnne Zahl; Juha Hamalainen and Esko Kalevi Juntunen respectively), and
  • Social Work with Juvenile Offenders - 2000/01 (Suncana Kusturin, Antun Ilijas, Kreso
    Makvic; Ksenija Butorac and Snjezana Salamon respectively).

In our opinion the content provides a good transition between the fourth issue and the ones that will follow. The fourth issue focused primarily on "working with children", while the fifth one covers issues related to the same topic as well as working with families. The social dynamic, social and global context within which we frame our theory and different models of practice will also be included

As a team, we spent several years exploring all relevant issues related to the "Electronic Academy" project. One issue was quite clear from the start: if we are to collaborate, than indeed let us collaborate at all levels and as related to all components of the proposed project, including the Journal. Several schools/universities expressed interest in doing so, but Dr. Mari-Anne Zahl presented strong, sincere determination and preparedness to take upon herself not just the Editor's duties, but also to explore other facets described in the electronic project.

There is a strong, very precious connection between the IUC Dubrovnik - Croatia and Norwegian universities. Professor Orjar Oyen, University of Bergen served as the IUC Director General during the most successful pre-war period as well as during the recent war in former Yugoslavia. He continues to be an active ambassador for and creative contributor to the IUC. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim is a long-term member of the IUC. Dr. Mari-Anne Zahl has been a long-term associate since our first academic offering in 1989/90. Since 1998/99, Dr. Zahl has served as Organizing Director for the Course Social Work and Social Policy.

As of this year, two issues of the journal will be prepared. The Fall Issue of the IUC Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice will be prepared at BSU, while the Spring Issue will be prepared at the NTNU. Dr. Mari-Anne Zahl will coordinate all activities in Trondheim and serve as a Chief Editor of the spring issue.

Thus, at this point we have the three websites directly related to the School:

  1. Since 1989 we have had the BSU website for the Journal, initiated by Professor Dada M. Maglajlic', and jointly coordinated by Dr. Maglajlic', Dr. Burt Galaway and Dr. Glen Richgels.
  2. Since 2000 we have also had the "spirituality and social work" website; Dr. Craig Rennebohm from Seattle, USA, provides financial support while creative work is provided by Mr. Claus B. Wagener in Berlin, Germany. Prof. Dr. Michael Striebel from Bregenz, Austria and Prof. Terry Sacco from the SAR are the most engaged with the content. The website has a forum that is open to all.
  3. As of Spring 2003 we will also have the Trondheim, NTNU site and we welcome both: the new site and a new collaborative team in Norway.

The original "Electronic Academy" project is part of the third issue of the Journal. We plan to return to the original proposal and explore other components. Over the next few years we would like to focus in particular on the development of the "virtual center for peace; a responsive and responsible citizenship". After that, we would like to revisit the creation of a set of courses related to the IUC Dubrovnik School offered either as a one time special offering or as a permanent course linked to the IUC program through its content and/or collaborative teaching effort.

More than before, we plan to embrace students as very active collaborative participants. Different components of "learning by doing" will be implemented throughout the year, emphasizing our effort as teachers to prepare students for:

  • The job market,
  • Graduate and postgraduate studies, and
  • Global citizenship (how to think globally and act locally as responsive and responsible citizens).

At this point in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Norway, SAR and the US, faculty, practitioners and students will work together preparing different components of the E-program. With time, we would like to expand our network by developing new E-posts.

For the time being, the E-mode presents an easy, quick and cheap opportunity to connect and learn. Learning through travel though, is an extremely important, badly needed addition. "See more, be more" takes us as to the "Back to the Roots" proposal, briefly described under the "News and Information" section of the Journal. Quality liberal education presents in these trying times the most important component of the higher education linked directly to three modern requirements:

  • The most recent high-quality information & up-to-date research,
  • Mindful adaptation to high speed, permanent changes and
  • Ongoing, lifelong learning.

The "Back to the Roots" program will explore the Mediterranean Region as the cradle of Western Civilization. Lectures (for the most part staged at the IUC and/or other educational institutions in the ancient city of Dubrovnik) combined with travel and direct exploration will help us understand better who we are, where we come from, where we stand and - most importantly - which direction to take in/for the future.

As we encourage our students to do the research and coach them to share findings by presenting at the different levels, including presenting at the postgraduate level within the IUC Dubrovnik School, we are giving our contribution to the standards mentioned above. Participatory, egalitarian inquiry with other students, practitioners and faculty will provide the best possible framework for quality learning. Its international components - at this point – go beyond what any of the existing institutions can offer in and of itself.

In conclusion, we welcome all as the readers of the journal and as the participants in our forum, but more than anything else we welcome you as active participants of one or more courses/symposia offered every June at the IUC Dubrovnik, Croatia.



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Copyright for the I.U.C. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice is owned by the Social Work Program, Department of Social Relations and Services, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. One copy may be made (printed) for personal use; teachers may make multiple copies for student use if the copies are made available to students without charge. Permission must be secured from the editors for sale of any copies of articles or for any commercial use of the material published in the Journal.
2001 Copyright BSU/IUC Journal of Social Work Theory & Practice